European dairy business Arla Foods claims to be the first in its field to use blockchain technology to provide information on its supply chain.

Arla in Finland has launched a pilot project – Arla Milkchain – which allows customers to track the origin and production of the company’s products from farm to dairy. The first item to launch on the platform is Single Estate Organic Milk.

Citing research conducted in 2017 by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, along with IRO Research, consumers in the country want to know whether foods are produced naturally and responsibly, and also where they are manufactured. The study found 70% of respondents located the roots of origin on the label and 23% from the manufacturers’ website.

And more recently in 2018, 67% of respondents to a study of food trends conducted by Taloustutkimus said they would like food products in Finland to have full traceability.

Sanna Heikfolk, brand and category manager for Arla’s Finnish business, said: “This entire development project got its start from people’s wishes. It is important for consumers that their food and drink be produced responsibly and transparently. The Arla Milkchain has already taught us a great deal for the future, but the journey has just begun. We want to build the most transparent and responsible production chain in the world.”

Single Estate Organic Milk is produced using raw materials from the Tikka organic farm in Kurikka, and is processed in the Hämeenlinna Cooperative Dairy.

Tikka farm member Tuomo Mäkinen added: “The clients’ trust is built on a combination of factors – the wellbeing of the cows is naturally the starting point, but understanding the origin and journey of the product is also important. It’s also natural for people to want to know who works on the product.”